2020 Indiana Legislative Session

Advocates Push For Youth Tobacco Laws At Statehouse

22 hours ago

The federal smoking age has increased to 21, but some say that is not enough.

More than 100 advocates gathered in support of stricter tobacco laws at the Statehouse Tuesday.

Legislation to ban handheld cell phone use while driving appears headed to passage after a Senate committee easily approved the measure.

IMDB website

Today:  Gary native, Hollywood actor and film festival host William L. Johnson talks about the 9th annual Black Film Festival, to be held this Friday evening and Saturday evening at the Glen Theatre in Gary.  The focus of the festival is on the achievements of African-American actors and filmmakers.   We have a new edition of "Building Northwest Indiana" from the Construction Advancement Foundation, and another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.  Jesse Kharbanda with the Hoosier Environmental Council is at the Statehouse to keep an eye on environmental bills still before the 2020 General Assembly, and he talks with us about HB 1414 -- a major bill affecting clean energy and public utilities.  It is coming up soon before the Senate Utilities Committee for a hearing.

Bill To Eliminate Township Assessors Dead In Senate

Feb 14, 2020

Assessors in 13 of the state’s largest townships will keep their jobs after a bill to eliminate those positions was effectively killed off.

Chicago Crusader website

Today:  For this "Reporters'  Roundtable" program we ask "Times" reporters Dan Carden and Joseph Pete and "Post-Tribune" reporter Carole Carlson to talk about their latest stories in print and online.  Carole has the latest (as of Thursday morning) on the Gary Roosevelt building situation, as decided by the Distressed Unit Appeals Board.  Dan reviews local politics, including Lake County Recorder Michael B. Brown and candidates who've withdrawn from the May 5th primary election ballot, as well as stories from the Statehouse.  Joe Pete has business news for us, including another hazardous waste investigation in East Chicago, and an interesting story about his brother Tom.  Chuck Garber with Valparaiso University also joins us with details on Saturday's annual "Polar Plunge" benefit for Special Olympics Indiana, happening on campus.

Fetal Remains Disposal Bill Advances Easily To House

Feb 7, 2020

The Senate easily sent legislation to the House that builds on a 2016 anti-abortion law dealing with fetal remains.

Lawmakers proposed more than 100 education bills but the number still alive has dwindled to just about two dozen.

Speed Cameras Bill Won't Advance In 2020 Session

Feb 4, 2020

Legislation to allow speed cameras in Indiana highway work zones is dead.

Its author opted not to bring the bill up for a vote in the Senate on the chamber’s mid-session deadline day.

Northeast Indiana Public Radio

Today:  Hoosier Environmental Council senior policy director Tim Maloney and his colleagues have been closely watching the progress of bills in this General Assembly session that can affect the Indiana environment.  Tim is on "Regionally Speaking" to talk about the measures that he's been monitoring -- two of which made it through Senate committees.  "Inside Indiana Business" host Gerry Dick and his panel of experts review the week's stories in this "INsiders" segment, and we bring you reporter Michael Puente's "Off Mic" conversation with Gary resident and activist Apostle East on the rise in crime in the Steel City. Lakeshore Public Radio's Sharon Jackson visited south Texas near the Mexico border last year and talked to residents about the controversial issue of immigration.

Hands-Free Driving Law, With $500 Fine, Passes House

Jan 30, 2020

Hoosiers could be fined up to $500 for using their cell phones while driving – unless hands-free – under a bill approved by the House.

Gov. Eric Holcomb signed legislation Wednesday that spends $291 million to pay cash for higher education building projects.

After proposing more than 100 education bills, lawmakers face a key legislative deadline next week. House lawmakers proposed fewer education-focused bills than the Senate, but only about a dozen made it through to the session’s next half. 

WFYI Public Radio

Today:  Updates on the 2020 Indiana General Assembly session -- first, from Andy Downs with the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at Purdue University Ft. Wayne, and later, from Dr. Indra Frank with the Hoosier Environmental Council,  which is closely watching environmentally-related measures moving through the Legislature.  We have a new edition of "Building Northwest Indiana" from the Construction Advancement Foundation and a new conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.

It will be significantly harder to get married under age 18 in Indiana if a bill approved by a House committee Monday becomes law.

Pregnant Worker Protection Bill Passes Committee

Jan 27, 2020

A bill that would require businesses to provide “reasonable accommodations” for pregnant workers passed through committee Monday. After hours of arguments, the bill now moves to the full Senate.  

WTIU public television

Today:  We ask "Post-Tribune" reporter Meredith Colias-Pete about the stories she's worked on --including two from the 2020 General Assembly session.  One of them is about Rep. Ed Soliday's bill that could give utility regulators the ability to give their approval before utilities can close coal-fired power plants.   She also has a northwest Indiana update on a state report on infant mortalities.  Lakeshore Public Radio's Sharon Jackson has her conversation with Gary city spokesman Michael Gonzalez on the next phase of dealing with the issue of closed and abandoned Gary public school buildings.  Gary Mayor Jerome Prince is attending a U.S. Conference of Mayors workshop for new mayors, and we learn more about it from the mayor himself.  And we bring back our conversation with northwest Indiana immigration attorney Alfredo Estrada.

A bill going to the Senate floor would create a program for high schoolers to try out careers while performing community service, called the Indiana Youth Service Program. 

Tom Lounges/Lakeshore Public Radio

Today:   We bring back our conversation with Jesse Kharbanda and Dr. Indra Frank with the Hoosier Environmental Council on the recent merger of "Improving Kids' Environment" with the HEC -- and, later in the program, with Conservation Law Center staff attorney Jeff Hyman on HB1031, the measure in the Legislature dealing with public access to Lake Michigan.  "Green Fleet Radio" from South Shore Clean Cities and NIRPC is once again on-the-air with host Carl Lisek. And we talk with Valparaiso University freshman Steven Mileusnich about his petition drive, both on campus and on Change.org, to "Save VU Jazz!" 

A bill to ban drivers from holding cell phones while driving unanimously passed a House committee Wednesday.

The Indiana House easily approved legislation Tuesday raising the legal age to smoke and vape to 21.

Legislation to allow speed cameras in highway work zones didn’t get a vote in a Senate committee Tuesday. And its future this session is in doubt.

A bill passed by the Indiana House Tuesday would ban companies from mandatory microchipping of employees. Although it seems like science fiction, the practice is growing more common in Europe and Asia.

Legislation changed and approved by a Senate committee Tuesday makes an incremental step to give more time to prosecute child sex crimes.

A bill up for passage in the Senate this week would require schools, beginning in 2021, to have a relationship with a mental health care provider before getting school safety dollars.

All IN: The Friday Pitch-In

Jan 17, 2020

This week’s Friday Pitch-In kicks off with a recap of what’s happening at the Statehouse with Reporter Brandon Smith.

We also get commentary on the governor’s State of the State speech from political analyst Andy Downs, and we sit down with Butler Arts Professor Wendy Meaden, who’s writing a textbook on mask making.

Produced by Matt Pelsor.

Guests:

The governor unveiled a teacher pay plan for 2021. The House made changes to its bill to raise the smoking age. And a Senate committee advanced a school mental health measure.

Here’s what you might have missed this week at the Statehouse.

A bill that will help smaller utilities address lead in drinking water passed out of a state Senate committee on Thursday. It would allow those utilities to replace lead pipes owned by their customers. 

The Indiana House made changes Thursday to legislation that raises the smoking and vaping age to 21 years old, which includes an effort to address recent deaths from vaping.

NWI Times

Today:   Jeff Hyman, the senior staff attorney for the Conservation Law Center, based at the I.U. Maurer School of Law in Bloomington, is with us to talk about the CLC's assistance to "Save the Dunes" and other groups over the bill in the Indiana House of Representatives concerning public access to Lake Michigan beaches.  The landmark 2018 Indiana Supreme Court ruling -- that affirmed the shoreline of Lake Michigan is owned by the state and held in trust for use by all Hoosiers -- is at risk of being undone, if a bill now under review is approved by the Legislature this esssion.  We have another edition of "Green Fleet Radio" from South Shore Clean Cities and NIRPC.  And, later in the program, Laura Odom with Purdue University Northwest talks about next week's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day events on the Westville and Hammond campuses. The university's been celebrating the memory and work of Dr. King with an annual program for 25 years now.

Town of Griffith / Town of Griffith

GRIFFITH - The town of Griffith is still on a quest to break away from Calumet Township.  Griffith tried unsuccessfully so-far to join St. John Township and North Township.  The town filed a bill on Thursday, January 9th, with the Indiana Legislature that would allow it to perform its own township services.

Rick Ryfa, President of the Griffith Town Council, explains where the process is currently.

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